I think most of us remember when we received that one Christmas present or one birthday present that was just the greatest thing in the world. For me, i still remember it like yesterday. It was my eighth birthday and when I saw the box with the wrapping paper on it I begin to do a little dance because I was sure I knew what it was. Sure enough, I tore the paper from the box and there was my very own BB/pellet gun. After all my guests had left, my dad sat me down and gave me some instructions on where I could shoot and what I could shoot. He also told me what the consequences would be if I did not follow these instructions. after about two weeks of shooting nearly every day at a metal can in the backyard away from everything and everyone, I had decided I had gotten pretty good at shooting. So I decided that it was time to go bird hunting. So after spending about 15 minutes in the backyard and not seeing any birds the temptation to go somewhere else to find some birds overtook me. So I decided I would go down the hill to the business that my family ran because I remembered seeing lots of birds down there, and man was I right. There were birds everywhere! Then my eye caught a big black bird sitting on top of the cap of my dad’s 2-ton truck. I got the bird in my sights, pulled the trigger, and the bird flew away. At that moment I felt very sick to my stomach, not because I had missed a bird, but because there was a hole in the windshield of my dad’s truck.
In Matthew 26:41 Jesus instructed his disciples, “Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” This is life-giving instruction to us today as well. I truly believe that the secret to overcoming the devil and his temptation is to watch and pray. What are we watching and praying for? We are watching for the possibilities of temptation. We should always be sensitive to the possibility of temptation and be spiritually ready to fight it, because from my experiences temptation strikes when and where we are the most vulnerable. We should be praying for God to give us His strength so we can shore up our defenses to defeat the devil's power.
I’m sure we can all think of a time when we were not paying any attention to the temptation around us and we were not praying for God’s strength. Which led us to become frustrated, defeated, and angry. We spoke and did unwise things and did not shine as a light in the world. I challenge us to follow our heavenly father's instructions to be watchful and to pray so that we do not end up living in sin because we caved to the devil's temptations. I wish I would have followed my earth father’s instructions because I would still have a B.B./pellet gun, 250$ that I had to give from my allowance(which was two week shy of a year's worth of allowances), and one less removal of my dad's belt.
Know that you are loved,
David Springer has served on The Table Leadership Team for the past 2 years. Currently, David oversees our outreach ministries. Next month, at the General Assembly for Missouri Ministries of the Church of God, David will officially become an ordained minister.